Our quotes don’t automatically include Marine Insurance as the cost depends on the value of your goods. Below, we’ve explained why you may want marine insurance. Give us a call if you want to know the exact cost for your shipment?
Something we urge all of our customers to think about is marine cargo insurance. This covers you for a lot of the things that could potentially go wrong while your goods are on the water. Marine insurance is fairly economical, usually costing our customers around £35-£50. Many of our customers think of marine insurance as an unnecessary expenditure, but they may not be informed about the risks associated with shipping by sea freight.
What Is Marine Insurance?
Marine insurance is exactly what you’re thinking it is; insurance for goods traveling via sea. It’s also commonly known as cargo insurance. We recommend that both importers and exporters should have marine insurance, but for the sake of relevance we’re focusing on importers. Getting your freight insurance is never going to go amiss.
Marine insurance covers loss or damage of your cargo while it’s on the move – which is great because with all the distance it has to travel there are a few potential things that can go wrong. Fortunately, these mishaps are not at all common, the vast majority of our customers have imported without the need for insurance for years – unfortunately, accidents can happen and, when they do, they can be expensive.
It’s like taking out insurance on your home. Yes, chances are it’s not going to burn down, you aren’t going to get burgled and a freak flood isn’t going to damage all your flooring. But there’s still a chance something could happen. If anything were to happen, you know you’ll be severely out of pocket and insurance will help with that. Something isn’t likely to happen to your goods – but covering your back with freight insurance is great for that extra protection.
In the end, it’s up to you to weigh the risks and decide whether you want to take out insurance or not.
Is Marine Insurance Included With Shippo?
Marine insurance is not included with Shippo; however, we can sort out the arrangements for you. The cost depends on the value of your goods but if your goods are costing less than around £10,000 to buy and are well packed and not fragile the insurance should only cost you £35-50. Give us a call and we can give you an exact cost.
What Does Marine Insurance Cover?
As with any type of insurance, marine insurance offers different types with different protections. We’re only going to cover Cargo Insurance for the sake of this post.
General insurance (AKA Cargo Insurance) typically includes:
- Loss or damage of goods whilst in transit
- Theft of goods
- Incidents relating to the ship, including sinking, capsizing, being grounded or colliding with another ship
- If you’re insured with us, General Average, where cargo is jettisoned to prevent a ship from capsizing or sinking, is also included – but not every insurance package offers this, so check
- Incidents relating to truck and train, including overturning, road accident, derailment
- Loading and unloading of cargo
- While in warehouse storage between transport stages
- Fire or explosions causing your goods damage
- Acts of God – volcanic eruptions, lightning, earthquakes etc.
- Total loss of any package lost overboard or dropped whilst loading on to, or unloading from, vessel or craft.
There are many things you should take into consideration when thinking about what type of insurance to purchase; for example, is the country your goods are traveling through currently at war? Is there government unease that could cause changes in trading policies and leave you in hot water?
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What Doesn't It Cover?
As with normal insurance, insurance companies will often do whatever they can to wriggle out of paying your claims – so make sure you’re up to date on what they don’t cover and how you can cover your bases.
Claims that are excluded from most typical insurance policies include:
- Goods being damaged because the supplier hasn’t packaged it well enough for the method of transport being used.
- Spoilage or other damages due to the product’s nature.
- Dangerous goods, like firearms and ammunition
- Combustible substances such as chemicals, fuel, etc.
- Losses caused by shipping delays.
- Leakage of the cargo during transit.
- Loss in weight or volume of the cargo during transport – for example, due to natural evaporation.
- Ordinary wear and tear of products.
- Delays during transit which may result in deterioration of the cargo.
- Nature of the cargo causing it to deteriorate or decay.
- Use of an unseaworthy ship, or container within the ship which causes unsuitable transit of cargo. In some cases, if the policyholder is proven unaware of this unsuitability, a claim could still be made.
- Loss, damage and expense caused by the financial default of the owners, managers, charterers or operators of the vessel.
Make sure you’re aware of what your insurance does and doesn’t cover, so that if you do ever need to make a claim you know you’ll be covered.
Why Do I Need Marine Insurance?
The shipping industry is a dark horse. It’s everywhere and touches essentially everything – that fruit you ate earlier? Probably imported. Your clothes? Probably imported. The materials used to build the train you rode to work today? Well, guess what – those were imported too.
Yet, even though the shipping industry quite literally supports the world, you hardly ever hear about it. You very rarely turn on the news and see Captain John and his crew, do you?
Just because you don’t hear a lot about what happens on the sea, don’t make the mistake of thinking nothing does. There are many situations in which having marine insurance can be beneficial.
1 – Cargo damage can occur
To be fair, this one is pretty easy to guess – on a few occasions in the shipping process, your goods are moved, either by hand, by fork-lift, or by crane. This handling, by it’s very nature can put a stress on a carton or a crate. In addition, when loaded into a shipping container there will always be cartons on the top of a stack and cartons at the bottom of a stack. Port handling staff are pretty skilled at loading containers but some cartons may be more delicate or heavy than they look.
2 – More containers lost at sea every year
Every year, an average of almost 1,700 containers are lost at sea. Although this is minuscule in proportion to how many containers are transported on the sea every year, this number is on the rise and you don’t want to be one of the unlucky few whose containers go missing and get no compensation.
3 – Catastrophic events happen
Unfortunately, there are always going to be unforeseen circumstances and acts of God (what these types of things are considered as in insurance policies) like hurricanes and freak storms. Ships can sink, goods can be thrown overboard; catastrophic events can happen and it always helps to cover your back.
4 – General Average – Expedite the release of your cargo.
If a General Average occurs, everyone who has goods aboard the vessel has to pay out an equal amount to cover damage and loss. To get your goods released to you, you have to pay this fee (which is often much more than you’d expect – in this real life example, a company had to pay the average bond for release of $125,000 to get their goods off the ship) or the cargo won’t be released to use. General Average is covered by most cargo insurance policies, however, which means your cargo insurance will pay the bond to get your goods released.
5 – Coverage for limited carrier liability
If something goes wrong with your shipment, a lot of people are under the impression that the minimum basic insurance your freight forwarders are obligated to provide will be enough. Unfortunately, this is like assuming your home’s contents coverage package will cover you losing your phone.
6 – Pirates.
Although it sounds almost laughable, piracy is still very much at large on the modern world. If your goods are traveling through certain countries and areas, (Nigeria and Somalia are two prime examples) your goods could be at risk.
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In all honesty, you may not ever be in a situation where you need to make an insurance claim, but if you were in one of these situations without insurance you would be in very hot water. If you enjoyed this post, share it and sign up for our newsletter!